GM Finances Lordstown Shell Company – Hearst Backs Company Union to Fight Drive – Marvin Miller Doesn’t Want HOF Honors

UAW members picket in Rochester, New York last fall (Zach D. Roberts)


Greetings from the Burgh, where we had a wild week after publishing our expose on SEIU’s cover-up of sexual misconduct. 

3 Payday Readers Cancel Subscription Over SEIU Expose

This past week, 3 different Payday subscribers canceled their subscriptions over Payday’s expose about sexual misconduct in SEIU.

Many in the labor movement feel that those types of stories shouldn’t be told in public. I disagree. I feel that sexual misconduct is still prevalent in some parts of the labor movement because those stories aren’t told. 

Nearly all the labor reporters on the left stay quiet this week about our sexual misconduct expose, but Payday believes there is no room for sexual misconduct in the labor movement. If you use your position of power in the labor movement to abuse people, we will take you on. 

Donate to help us keep covering this vital story. 

GM Signals Moves to Bring Back in Lordstown Plant With Weakened Labor Terms

During the GM strike earlier this year, many union activists predicted that GM would create a shell company so that they could close Lordstown then reopen it later under a weaker union contract. 

GM previously did this in the late 1990s and early 2000s when they spun off many of their auto parts makers into Delphi. In the late 2000s, GM brought back in many of the plants under the label of General Motors Holding Components and demanded that workers take a $6 an hour pay cut from what they were making when they were previously GM employees. 

This week, news emerged that GM may try to do that in Lordstown. GM and LG Chem announced that they were going to open a $2.3 billion to build an electric car battery on land owned near the old Lordstown site. 

The project is expected to employ 1,100 workers, but GM has refused to indicate whether or not, it will re-open under the GM contract. 

GM Financed Creation of Shell Company in Lordstown

This week, the Detroit Free Press unearthed documents that showed GM is once again financing a shell company, Lordstown Motors, to build electric pick-up trucks, which is expected to employ 500 workers there. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, Lordstown Motors financed the buying of the facility with a $40 million loan. The loan is an opened end mortgage, which would allow GM to loan more money under terms to be stipulated later on. 

Additionally, as part of the sale of the property, GM has retained the right to purchase the company back; leading many to fear that GM will simply buy back the plant in a few years while demanding that the UAW take a cut in wages in order to get the workers re-employed. 

“The vast majority of us who lived through this entire story since last November don’t trust GM,” Tim O’Hara, UAW Local 1112 president in Lordstown told the Detroit Free Press. “There is a lot of suspicion that once it’s all said and done that GM itself will end up building electric vehicles in Lordstown after all its loyal employees and Local 1112 members had to move throughout the nation.”

Hearst Creates Company Union to Fight Writers’ Guild Union Drive

Earlier this year, over 500 employees at 24 Hearst-owned publications including Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Marie Clare announced a union drive with the Writers’ Guild. However, Hearst says that workers shouldn’t be able to unionize because a union already exists. The Hearst International Employees Association. 

No employees at Hearst had ever had of the union and its address is listed as Hearst headquarters. The Writers’ Guild plans to challenge its legal legitimacy at the NLRB; claiming its a “company union’, which is illegal under federal labor law. 

More from Bloomberg Law:

The HIEA had 79 members and about $50,000 in assets as of March 2018, the union said in its most recent filing with the Labor Department. The union has been around at least since 2000, the earliest date for which annual union reports are available on the DOL website.

The union didn’t file a mandatory annual report with the DOL in 2019 and had its tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service automatically revoked in 2010 after failing to file a Form 990 for three consecutive years, according to the two agencies’ online databases.

“As far as we know, no one in this union has seen the contract that supposedly covers them,” the WGAE said in its statement.

The NLRB will now likely need to decide whether HIEA is a legitimate union and if it overlaps with the proposed WGAE bargaining unit.

Marvin Miller Said He Didn’t Want to Be in the Hall of Fame – Curt Flood Should Be 

This week, Marvin Miller, the pioneering union rep, who created the modern baseball players’ union, was voted by the veterans’ committee into the Hall of Fame. 

However, Miller indicated repeatedly in the press and in writing that he felt that he didn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Miller felt that he was just a union rep and that the players who sacrificed deserved to be there instead. 

One person, who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame is Curt Flood, who was blacklisted from baseball for demanding the right to be a free agent. Not only was Flood a labor pioneer, who had his career cut short at age 31, but his on-the-field metric merit his selection into the Hall of Fame alone. 

From 1963 to 1969, Curt Flood won 7 straight Gold Gloves as centerfield and helped the Cardinals win two World Series. According to modern baseball statistics, Defensive Runs Above Average, Flood, was the 9th best centerfield of all times in terms of his ability to save runs from scoring.

However, no player with less than 2,000 hits has ever been inducted in the Hall, Flood only had 1,861 hits. However, Flood likely had another 5-6 years left in his career if he hadn’t been blacklisted and surely would have passed the 2,000 hit mark.

Payday urges the Hall of Fame to induct Flood instead of Miller. I think its what Miller, a union rep’s union rep, would have preferred. 

That’s all for Payday this week, pass the hat and donate today.

About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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